On January 15, 2019, I called on Premier Moe to place an immediate moratorium on any further contracts between SaskTel and Huawei, and today, we are glad to see that he has taken our advice.
However, the potential threat to the security and privacy of Saskatchewan people and businesses remains of very real concern. Other countries such as the United States, Australia, and New Zealand have shown this by actively taking steps to prevent Huawei from being a part of building their 5G networks.
There are still several steps the Sask. Party can take to defend Saskatchewan people and businesses:
- Provide the public with a thorough description of all of Huawei’s involvement with SaskTel and of all safeguards in place to protect the Saskatchewan public.
- Request an urgent briefing from the Ministry of Public Safety and by Canadian Security Intelligence Services of any potential risk for espionage via Huawei’s existing involvement with SaskTel and communicate that risk to the Saskatchewan public.
- Provide an assessment of the cost of ending current contracts with Huawei and removing any technology - in particular 5G technology - that poses risk and outlining a process for ending this engagement should that be the wiser course of action.
New Democrat members have flagged Huawei as a potential concern since 2010. The Sask Party failed to exercise due diligence and take those concerns seriously. Now that they are finally paying attention, we need to see a thorough and transparent plan to reduce our financial exposure, protect SaskTel and the privacy and security of Saskatchewan people and businesses.